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Cloth pads are fab – but don’t overdo it on the dance floor!

I started my periods at age 16 in an airport departure lounge, of all places, and ever since have used disposable pads with wings – usually one brand – the cheapest and with pretty pink packaging.

I must admit that before working on this campaign, I had heard very little about reusable period products, but as I became more aware of the options available, I decided at age 38 – after 20 years of using pads – it was time to give it a go.

Giving the pads a go

I thought about the menstrual cup, and to be honest, this just freaked me out. I know a few friends who say they’re amazing but I have never used a tampon either – so maybe this is why. I knew menstrual cups were not for me, without even trying them. So, I opted for cloth pads instead. I bought my pads in June, and I’ve been really happy with them ever since.

The good bits? They feel really cosy and comfy, much nicer than a plastic disposable – and they don’t make those horrible crunchy noises in toilets. And the thing that surprised me the most was the absorbency. I was astounded at how much one pad could hold.

Now I am going to be completely honest, I did go my summer holiday to France and because I was staying with my in-laws, I couldn’t deal with washing them at their house, so I did opt for a disposable on these days. But I am OK with that – I think if you’re going to use them you should be realistic about it and don’t do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.

Cleaning your cloth pads

If you do decide to give cloth pads a try, you do need to rinse and machine wash them after use. I do the initial rinsing of them in my bathtub, straight away if I am at home. Talking about it with a friend, she said “that’s bogging” but if you have a bath when you’re on your period, the blood goes down the drain so I figured, what’s the difference rinsing a pad in the bath?

If I’m out, I tend to opt for the disabled loos with in-built sink, so I can give them a quick rinse before rolling them away in my storage bag. If that’s not an option, I don’t rinse them until I get home, and this is fine. They wash great and dry really quickly.

After rinsing, I just chuck mines in the washing with other laundry but I know that other friends prefer to wash them separately. Its up to you. After dealing with kids pants and lots of accidents over the last few years, there is so much variety of bodily fluids going into my washing machine, that I am not so fussy about this!

A word of advice...

My only advice on using them follows the time I put the pad to the ultimate test during a Backstreet Boys (I know, showing my age) gig at the Hydro where I did do a lot of dancing. I did feel secure and that I wasn’t going to leak. The cloth pad did however move about a wee bit more than a pad which sticks to your pants would – so just bear this in mind.

The cloth pads come with poppers so they are secured to your pants, but not absolutely fixed in place if you’re going to be jumping about at a concert. In future, if I am going to be dancing again (a rare occurrence these days), I would probably go for a pair of period pants – which I have just invested in….I’m looking forward to giving them a try on my next period. Will let you know how I get on!

Find out how the rest of the team got on...

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Catherine - Period Diaries